Professor Thomas Cotter
About the Cotter Research Group
The Cotter tumour biology research group
The main research focus in the Cotter Laboratory is in understanding the role of cell signaling pathways, in particular those that are redox regulated and active, in tumour cell survival and in degenerative conditions of the retina. The role of reactive oxygen species such as hydrogen peroxide has undergone a renaissance in the last decade with this molecule shown to be acting as both a driver of cell death (at high concentrations) but also more significantly as a specific activator of cell survival pathways at lower concentrations. In the case of several tumours both leukaemia and colon we see an increase in ROS production on oncogene activation. From multiphoton microscopy this increase appears to be localised to the ER and is produced by activation of one member of the NADPH Oxidase (Nox) family of enzymes. This in turn activates the Akt/PI3k pathway by the inhibition of one of several negatively regulating phosphatases. The result is a stronger tumour cell survival signal which aids tumour development and hinder chemotherapeutic treatments. In the retina our focus is on the development of neuroprotective agents for the treatment of degenerative conditions of the retina in particular retinitis pigmentosa and related diseases.
Funding (€2m+) to support for our laboratory research work comes from the following agencies; Science Foundation Ireland, Irish Cancer Society, Health Research Board of Ireland and The Children’s Leukaemia Research project.
Professor Cotter has supervised 35 PhD students plus 8 MD, 3 MSc. students and published over 200 papers in addition to editing several books and monographs. His laboratory (9 scientists) is funded from a variety of sources. His published work has been cited more than 11,000 times. Eight of his publications are ‘citation classics’ (300+ citations each). H Index 53.
Current Research Projects
People in the Cotter tumour biology research group
Dr Daniel Alvira Aguilera
Dr Ana Arroba
Dr Lavinia Bhatt
Ms Aoife Corcoran
Dr Maryanne Donovan (PhD student and Postdoctoral Scientist)
Dr Francesca Doonan (PhD student and Postdoctoral Scientist)
Dr Karen England
Dr Will Landry (PhD student and Postdoctoral Scientist)
Dr Ruth Naughton (PhD student and Postdoctoral Scientist)
Dr Carolyn O’Mahony (PhD student and Postdoctoral Scientist)
Links and professional activities
Founding Board member of Science Foundation Ireland, Irelands largest science funding agency.
Past Board member of the Government Commission for Assisted Reproduction & Chair of its stem cell committee
Former Board Member of Health Research Board of Ireland Board
Former Board Member of Cancer Research Ireland
Former President of Irish Association for Cancer Research
Former Chairman of the Board of Meridian Theatre Company
Co founder of Eirx Therapeutics Ltd and Luxcel Biosciences Ltd
Member of Scientific Advisory Board of Institute de la Vision Paris
Former SAB member of the Tyndall National Institute Ireland
Former member of expert panel providing advice to the Government’s Chief Scientific Advisor
Editorial Board member of several journals.
Former Editor in Chief of Essays in Biochemistry
Extensive international experience of grants reviews